One of the best rains of the summer fell overnight, but trees are so drought-stressed that now is not the time to let up on watering.
Rainfall amounts ranged from 1.4 to 1.8 inches across the Omaha metro area.
In Lincoln, officials today lifted the mandatory restrictions on watering. Jerry Obrist, chief engineer in the Lincoln watering department, said the mandatory restrictions were lifted because the Platte River has been trending up and usage has been declining.
Across the area, trees might still need water, said Mary Anna Anderson, horticulturist for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.
Anderson suggests that people assess how deeply the rain soaked into the ground by sticking a screwdriver into the soil. If it easily penetrates about six inches, that's enough to help lawns, but not quite enough to meet the needs of trees. The soil should be soft about a foot down.
Trees also can be harmed by over watering, so Anderson cautioned against pouring on the water. She suggested giving about an additional inch now, if needed, followed by a weekly watering of about an inch until the ground freezes.
The good thing about watering after a rain is that the soil is softer and better able to soak up the moisture.